Lewis Structure of SF6 (With 5 Simple Steps to Draw!)

Lewis Structure of SF6

Ready to learn how to draw the lewis structure of SF6?

Awesome!

Here, I have explained 5 simple steps to draw the lewis dot structure of SF6 (along with images).

So, if you are ready to go with these 5 simple steps, then let’s dive right into it!

Lewis structure of SF6 contains six single bonds between the Sulfur (S) atom and each Fluorine (F) atom. The Sulfur atom (S) is at the center and it is surrounded by 6 Fluorine atoms (F). The Sulfur atom does not have a lone pair while all the 6 Fluorine atoms have 3 lone pairs.

Let’s draw and understand this lewis dot structure step by step.

(Note: Take a pen and paper with you and try to draw this lewis structure along with me. I am sure you will definitely learn how to draw lewis structure of SF6).

5 Steps to Draw the Lewis Structure of SF6

Step #1: Calculate the total number of valence electrons

Here, the given molecule is SF6 (sulfur hexafluoride). In order to draw the lewis structure of SF6, first of all you have to find the total number of valence electrons present in the SF6 molecule.
(Valence electrons are the number of electrons present in the outermost shell of an atom).

So, let’s calculate this first.

Calculation of valence electrons in SF6

  • For Sulfur:

Sulfur is a group 16 element on the periodic table.

Hence, the valence electrons present in sulfur is 6 (see below image).

  • For Fluorine: 

Fluorine is a group 17 element on the periodic table.

Hence, the valence electrons present in fluorine is 7 (see below image).

Hence in a SF6 molecule, 

Valence electrons given by Sulfur (S) atom = 6
Valence electrons given by each Fluorine (F) atom = 7
So, total number of Valence electrons in SF6 molecule = 6 + 7(6) = 48

Step #2: Select the center atom

While selecting the atom, always put the least electronegative atom at the center. 

(Remember: Fluorine is the most electronegative element on the periodic table and the electronegativity decreases as we move right to left in the periodic table as well as top to bottom in the periodic table).

Here in the SF6 molecule, if we compare the sulfur atom (S) and fluorine atom (F), then the sulfur is less electronegative than fluorine.

So, sulfur should be placed in the center and the remaining 6 fluorine atoms will surround it.

step 1

Step #3: Put two electrons between the atoms to represent a chemical bond

Now in the above sketch of SF6 molecule, put the two electrons (i.e electron pair) between each sulfur atom and fluorine atom to represent a chemical bond between them.

step 2

These pairs of electrons present between the Sulfur (S) and Fluorine (F) atoms form a chemical bond, which bonds the sulfur and fluorine atoms with each other in a SF6 molecule.

Step #4: Complete the octet (or duplet) on outside atoms. If the valence electrons are left, then put the valence electrons pair on the central atom

Don’t worry, I’ll explain!

In the Lewis structure of SF6, the outer atoms are fluorine atoms.

So now, you have to complete the octet on these fluorine atoms (because fluorine requires 8 electrons to have a complete outer shell).

step 3

Now, you can see in the above image that all the fluorine atoms form an octet.

Also, all the 48 valence electrons of SF6 molecule (as calculated in step #1) are used in the above structure. So there are no remaining electron pairs.

Hence there is no change in the above sketch of SF6.

Let’s move to the next step.

Step #5: Final step – Check the stability of lewis structure by calculating the formal charge on each atom

Now, you have come to the final step and here you have to check the formal charge on sulfur atom (S) as well as each fluorine atom (F).

For that, you need to remember the formula of formal charge;

Formal charge = Valence electrons – Nonbonding electrons – (Bonding electrons)/2

step 4
  • For Sulfur:
    Valence electrons = 6 (as it is in group 16)
    Nonbonding electrons = 0
    Bonding electrons = 12
  • For Fluorine:
    Valence electron = 7 (as it is in group 17)
    Nonbonding electrons = 6
    Bonding electrons = 2
Formal charge=Valence electronsNonbonding electrons(Bonding electrons)/2
S=6012/2=0
F=762/2=0

So you can see above that the formal charges on sulfur as well as fluorine are “zero”.

Hence, there will not be any change in the above structure and the above lewis structure of SF6 is the final stable structure only.

Each electron pair (:) in the lewis dot structure of SF6 represents the single bond ( | ). So the above lewis dot structure of SF6 can also be represented as shown below.

SF6 Lewis Structure

Related lewis structures for your practice:
Lewis structure of PH3
Lewis structure of NO
Lewis structure of N2O
Lewis structure of CH3OH
Lewis structure of PCl3

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